Potentially jarring behaviours | 不讲文明

Loud conversations

These are very common. Many Chinese speak very loudly in public and it may be one of the first things you notice upon arrival. Loud speech usually does not mean that the speaker is angry or engaged in an argument (although obviously it can). Noise means life, and China is rooted in a community based culture, so you may want to bring earplugs for long bus or train rides!


Queue jumping

The concept of queuing is not widely respected in China, and it is difficult to suggest how to deal with it other than push and shove as the others do! This is a serious problem when queuing for tickets at train stations. If you are trying to catch a taxi, then expect other people to move further down the road to catch one before you. You may need to learn to become more assertive in order to get what you want in China.


Personal space

Keep in mind that the concept of personal space more or less does not exist in China. It is perfectly common and acceptable behaviour for someone to come in very close contact with you or to bump into you and say nothing. Don’t get mad, as they will be surprised and most likely won’t even understand why you are offended!


Ignoring rules

Disregard of city, provincial and/or national rules, regulations and laws. This includes (among many other things) dangerous and negligent driving, (see Driving in China) that includes excessive speeding, not using head lights at night, lack of use of turn signals, and driving on the wrong side of the street, jaywalking, and smoking in non-smoking areas or defiance of smoking bans.


Air rage

A fairly recent phenomenon particular to China is groups of passengers displaying both verbal and physical aggression towards airline staff whenever there is a delay (and flight delays are very common). This is generally done in order to leverage better compensation from the airline.



Many Chinese do not cover their mouths when they sneeze.


MISC | 杂七杂八

The Turpan depression, in northwest China’s Xinjiang is the lowest point in China at 154 m below sea level, which is one of the lowest points in the world after the Dead Sea.


Although not as widespread as English, there are some foreign languages that are of use in China. Korean is spoken as a native language by many people in the north east of the country. Japanese is spoken by some professionals in international businesses. German is a popular language for engineering professionals. People in border areas and some older people are sometimes able to speak Russian.


While homophones are unlikely a problem in most everyday conversations, it is very common for Chinese to ask how to write someone’s name by identifying the characters one by one. “My name is Wang Fei (王菲). Wang is the”wang" with four strokes, Fei is the “fei” in “shifei”(gossip), with a grass on top."

同音字大多数情况下不会给你带来麻烦。但说自己叫什么的时候,人们通常会指示清楚。比如:我叫王菲,四笔的那个“王”,“是非”的“非”加个草字头 (丫的,是非的非……上面长草……)

Language for massage(去路边 15 块一小时的按摩店,用得着)


Items with big worldwide brand labels sold in China may be bogus, especially expensive and exclusive popular brands. By no means all are bogus; most of the major brands market in China, but some will be unauthorized or downright fake. If you are buying genuine branded foreign goods, particularly haute couture brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada, or popular brands such as Nike or Adidas, do not expect them to be cheaper than buying them in Western countries. Wealthy Chinese who can afford to travel often purchase luxury brand name goods in Hong Kong or overseas, as it is significantly cheaper than buying them in mainland China.


Bargaining is a national pastime in China. You can bargain over almost anything, and sometimes it’s even possible to ask for discount in a restaurant at the last minute before you pay the bill. Many restaurants or bars will willingly offer a free dish or two (such as a fruit plate in a KTV) if you have made a particularly large order. Shopping malls are less willing to bargain, but why not ask “Will I get a gift?”


Will I get a gift… 你们老外真会玩……

Chinese gourmands place emphasis on freshness so your meal will most likely be cooked as soon as you order it. Searing hot woks over coal or gas fires make even street food usually safe to eat. Indeed freshly prepared street food, as noted by many travel writers, is often safer than food sitting on the buffet lines of 5-star hotels. China is no exception.

路边的东西可能比 5 星酒店的还要健康,至少是熟的不能再熟了(视角奇特……)

Karaoke (卡拉OK) is huge in China and can be broadly split into two categories. More common is the no-frills karaoke box or KTV, where you rent a room, bring your friends and the house gives you a mike and sells you booze. Much favored by students, these are cheap and fun with the right crowd, although you need at least a few people for a memorable night. Bringing your own booze can keep the price tag down but must be done on the sly - many places have windows in the door so the staff can make sure you only drink liquor they sold to you.

KTV 挺便宜,一群人去最好,你以为想自带酒水你就能自带酒水吗?



  1. China – Travel guide at Wikivoyage

  1. 红灯须硬闯,马路要横穿